Review: Excellia Tequila

This new tequila brand comes from 100 percent blue agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco — and then comes a twist: All the tequilas are aged in Sauternes and 20-year-old Cognac casks, a big twist vs. the usual old Bourbon barrels in which most tequila is aged. The results are, in at least one case, exemplary.

Excellia Blanco Tequila – A misleading and cryptic tequila: Not bottled straight from the still but rested for a couple of weeks in wood. Good decision. The nose is bright agave, but the body is shockingly sweet and mellow. Lemon, vanilla, and custard notes. Smooth and creamy, with a little agave bite at the end. I’m impressed! A / $50

Excellia Reposado Tequila – Spends nine months in oak. Big wood notes here, but it’s tempered by some of the sweeter, citrus notes. Wood dominates here in a way that isn’t perfectly in balance. B+ / $60

Excellia Anejo Tequila – 18 months in oak. Powerful wood character here, with dark honey and vanilla notes and, surprisingly, more agave bite than either the blanco or the reposado. The finish is lasting and dessert-like, with chocolate and a bunch of cinnamon. Not the most nuanced anejo, but worthwhile.  A- / $70

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3 Responses

  1. anon January 15, 2011 / 2:28 am

    wow! those are some great scores for such an unconventional line.
    I was going to try out “My First Casa Noble” soon, but Excellia has piqued my interest!

  2. cange January 16, 2011 / 3:39 pm

    Call me superficial, but tequila’s probably the only booze that I’ll buy based solely on what the bottle looks like (and it must be 100% agave). Why, why do I do this? A good bourbon could come in an old Sunny D bottle and I’d still happily buy it. I’m sure the tequila makers realize this. Anyway, I don’t like this one (the bottle). Too elegant. I could see it being served to Arianna Huffington at some glamorous event.

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